Wouldn't it be nice if we could keep an English teacher in our back pocket? Fast access to a writing critique buddy would make our papers and novels read better. This month, I was excited to explore the new grammar site, Grammarly.com. This website is the perfect solution for students, bloggers and other writers. Let's face it -- no matter how hard I try, I'm never going to be able to remember the difference between lay and lie. I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because a post on grammar should be error free. Now, I have a cheat sheet at my fingertips!
Grammarly critiques documents by allowing a cut and paste or an upload. After identifying what type of information is being submitted (a paper, some fiction, a resume), Grammarly's grammar engine identifies writing, spelling and grammar mistakes we haven't thought about since 6th grade. The highlighted areas of concern come with a choice of short or long explanations that teach the correct method of writing. The submitted work is scored to give you an idea of how well you've written. My favorite trick is the missing word identifier. A program that identifies missing words is a great gift for writers who have a hard time editing their own work because it's so familiar to them.
This is a well thought out website. Besides catching mistakes and improving your writing, it also features a user community to answer questions and a search engine for fast turnaround. The most skilled users who help others receive ratings and awards that reassure you he or she knows what they're talking about. Other perks to joining this site include a personal online handbook and the option to download Grammarly to your desktop.
This past month I used Grammarly to check some excerpts of my fiction and to critique a freelance article. I was pleased with both of the results, although I acknowledge some of the notifications such as questionable word spellings were incorrect. All in all, Grammarly offers a great insight into sentence structure and grammar and will help tighten any type of writing. It comes at a price, but there is a seven day free trial. I highly recommend checking it out.
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Giveaway ends 9/12/2013